All three have shown failure in their eyes when I have looked into them. Both Kizer and Campbell had what I call “dead eyes,” which are eyes with no energy. Lance too, shows little to no energy and a high level of lethargic softness and apathy when I look into his eyes. I see some arrogance, and someone who looks somewhat star-struck, but I see no real confidence. I see someone who is just out there having fun and really not taking any of this seriously. I also see fear.
His body language and vibe were also bad at his pro days it gave me a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach watching him. It was a struggle for me to even get through watching the practice, as he had to wipe his brow from each and every over-exaggerated throw.
Campbell and Kizer are both out of the league and they never amounted to anything. Lance is on his way to becoming as they have become, the only difference is time has not shown this yet, but his game film has given the clues. It is just a matter of doing the math.
Outside of a couple of Sports Center type of highlights, Lance struggled with consistency, ball placement and completing passes. Lance could have easily thrown not one, but five interceptions in the preseason and was lucky he did not fumble three times (twice he recovered his own fumble, and once he held the ball carelessly and could have easily had it stripped). Had Lance turned the ball over eight times in the preseason, the narrative would be different.
Not to mention, Lance failed to beat out veteran quarterback (QB) Jimmy Garoppolo in camp. Jacksonville, New York and New England all committed to their rookie QB’s by getting rid of their veteran security blankets, but not San Francisco. No, instead we have been sold this bill of goods by head coach about this “Trey Package,” two-headed glorified option-QB system.
Translation = Shanahan and team general manager John Lynch do not believe (with their actions) Lance is good enough to start. They have seen him day in and day out in practice too – – and they just do not believe he is good enough, because if they did, Garoppolo would be gone, just like Gardner Minshew, Sam Darnold and Cam Newton are.
Years ago on NFL Films, back when I was growing up, I will never forget what Matt Millen said. At the time Millen was playing linebacker for the 49ers. Millen said you can always read a QB by his eyes. The context at that time was the 49ers were going up against the Redskins in the playoffs and Millen said, “I took one look into Mark Rypien’s eyes and knew we had this game won.”
The 49ers did win that game.
However, they are not going to win this thing with Lance those who support him and San Francisco mortgaging their future to get him, will say the preseason does not mean anything, which is a way of avoiding reality.
I also did the work on Lance at North Dakota State, where Lance looked like an athlete trying to play QB. Lance struck me as a poor man’s Donovan McNabb and I put a UFA (undraftable free agent) grade on him. Again all the clues are there when Lance and North Dakota State took on Central Arkansas, James Madison, The University of North Dakota and Butler.
Go watch the film. All the clues are there.
All the things Lance struggled to do this preseason showed up on film at North Dakota State, the hesitancy and lack of confidence to pull the trigger, the tendency to lock in with receivers and telegraph his throws, Lance taking too many sacks, the erratic ball placement, how he got exposed at the intermediate route level – – all of it is right there on film. You do not need to believe me, just turn on the game film and it will do my talking for me.
Despite Shanahan being viewed in league circles as being an offensive genius, I wanted to come out and double down and tell the football world he is wrong about Lance.
Lance is another Kizer or Campbell all over again.
It’s in his eyes.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.